Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Memoir of Two Innocents Abroad: Part Six

on September 11, 2014

On the last leg of our journey from Roanne through the Loire Valley to the Riviera we awoke to a beautiful sunny day. It was the first time we had felt hot since we left the airport in New York City. We started out driving through a very hilly region. As we came to the top of a little hill we saw two policemen. By now we knew to be wary of them, with good reason. The policemen saw us and whistled for us to stop. They thought we had a stolen car it seemed because of our license plate problem. (You may wonder why we didn’t have it fixed. Conversation in France was so difficult for us we never even asked directions of anyone. We just tried to solve our problems ourselves.) We located the car’s registration and a policeman copied down two pages of information before letting us go. The rest of the day we stayed as far away from policemen as possible and never looked one in the eye. And they were all over the place, too. When we finally got to Marseilles and the Mediterranean they stopped paying attention to us. We figured the police didn’t care about a crooked license plate in a place where there is supposed to be real crime – and smuggling.

It was close to six o’clock when we reached the Mediterranean – as blue as can be with a cool breeze blowing over the water. We drove on to Cannes and stopped to call our friend Harry. He met us and lead the way to his condominium which is something out of a fairy tale. It is on the side of a hill – part of the Maritime Alps which begin at the sea – and has palm trees and magnolias that grew in the garden of the old estate which was formerly there. Each condo has a balcony on the front and the back of the apartment building. The front one overlooks the sea and that is where Harry and his wife Paula eat breakfast and lunch. They always have dinner out. The floors of the condo are Italian marble. The apartment was filled with vases of flowers. And while we visited there was a full moon that turned the sea to silver. It was so exotic!

Our friends entertained a constant flow of guests. Paula said she never had time to shop for a new bathing suit for the summer and I could see why. When we arrived there was a German lady visiting who sold cosmetics made from oyster and calf embryos. She was quite a jet-setter and very nice. She spoke French and English in addition to German but couldn’t understand my Southern accent so Harry translated for me. For dinner we went to a restaurant on the beach to have bouillabaisse – a fish stew I’ve always read about and wanted to try.

The following day the German lady flew to Brussels in the afternoon. We joined Harry when he took her to the airport in Nice. Afterwards we toured the old quarter of Nice which is exactly how I picture the “old world”. When we returned to the apartment we discovered that the German lady had been replaced by an American one and two teen-aged boys. I’ll save that story for another day.

8 responses to “Memoir of Two Innocents Abroad: Part Six

  1. Thank you for Day 6. Did you enjoy the taste of the bouillabaisse? I have seen the beauty of different lakes, rivers, and oceans (Atlantic/Pacific). After reading about Cannes, today; I decided to travel there, via the Internet. Today, I know more than I did yesterday.

    • vivachange77 says:

      I hope you enjoyed your visit to Cannes. The bouillabaisse wasn’t as good as I hoped but quite hearty. I had some wonderful soup the next evening. I’m glad to know you are learning things reading about my travels. I learn things most days from other people’s blogs.

  2. I love Nice’s old town, always so festive, especially during the summer. Sorry you didn’t enjoy your bouillabaisse. Hope you had yourself a mountain of shellfish though, it’s one of the few things I really miss from home.

    • vivachange77 says:

      You must have read my first “publish.” I went back and dropped the part abut the bouillabaisse being bland because I thought I sounded like an ungrateful guest. I can see why you miss the wonderful shellfish from home. I’ve lived most of my life in the middle of the US – not a good place for sea food. Childhood in Mississippi had great catfish and New Orleans has gumbo.

      • Haha, I just read the previous comment. Bouillabaise can be really bad if not done properly (like everything else) nothing to do with being ungrateful πŸ˜‰
        I love New Orleans gumbo!

  3. Silver Threading says:

    I wonder if the language barrier is still as bad today? More great adventure s! β™‘

  4. vivachange77 says:

    I would think the language barrier is much less. Most places you can find someone who speaks English and is glad to help you. And many English speaking people know phrases in other languages. It’s a more cross-fertilized world. I love the diversity of Word Press bloggers.

    I’m nearing the end of my stories. I had no idea so many bloggers would like to read them. I’m gratreful.

  5. vivachange77 says:

    Gumbo – and Creole turtle soup. πŸ™‚ My mother and I both graduated from Tulane. Being in NOLA for the eating, and chicory coffee, was a huge part of my education. After he finished college one of my sons bought a little run-down house two streets over from the the Bywater neighborhood near the French Quarter. I had fun exploring N.O. and the levees with him.

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